'The Bachelorette': Chris Harrison Explains His Brief Exit

Chris Harrison is (temporarily) out, and JoJo Fletcher is in! The longtime Bachelor franchise host revealed on Tuesday’s episode of The Bachelorette that he’d be taking a rare few days off for a good reason — to take his son to college. 

ET learned in August that Chris had missed a few days to drop off his son, Joshua, at school in Texas, with former Bachelorette JoJo filling in. Viewers saw it all play out on this week’s episode. 

“Normally, this is where I drop off the date card. The reason I don’t have your date card is a bit of a personal story. I’m going to step away for a few days, and I’m going to take my son to college,” Chris told Tayshia Adams’ men at the top of the episode. 

“But I’m not going to leave you guys empty-handed. I brought in a little help for this week. She’s a very, very dear friend to Tayshia, and she’s also one of the biggest success stories in the history of The Bachelorette,” he continued. “So, I’d love to introduce you guys to JoJo.”

With that, JoJo walked in, date card in hand. 

“Nice to meet you guys. I’m JoJo. I don’t know if you know me, but I’m a former Bachelorette,” she said, telling the guys she could empathize with them after competing on The Bachelor and then finding love on The Bachelorette. “I’m here to step in, so, if you need me, Tayshia needs me, I’ll be around.” 

As ET’s source said in August, Chris’ brief time off was a “pre-planned event done totally in coordination with production. There were no surprises.”

Chris has rarely missed moments during filming, but notably, this year’s franchise filming schedule was different than years past due to COVID-19. The Bachelorette was scheduled to film in March, but production was put on pause indefinitely for the first time in franchise history because of the pandemic. It picked back up in July, and ran through August. 

And in a recent interview with ET, Chris called JoJo “a very good friend that I reached out to who was nice enough to come in and help out just a little bit.” 

Fans already saw the former Bachelorette earlier in the episode, as she arrived at Tayshia’s suite to offer a little bit of advice. 

The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. See more in the video below. 

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